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Contents for May 9, 2016

1. Ishmael Houston-Jones, FF Alumn, receives Herb Alpert Award in Dance, 2016

Congratulations to Ishmael Houston-Jones, FF Alumn. Complete information is avaialable at this link:




2. Daze, FF Alumn, in The New York Times, May 2

A Case for Using Street Art to Clean Up Dreary Stretches of the Bronx
Side Street

John Beltran found his muse in a graffiti-covered New York City that was broke, dirty and dangerous. He used to tag along as his father, a numbers runner and loan shark, made his rounds in El Barrio and the South Bronx in the 1970s. The streets were a revelation to him, a child who spent his days drawing pictures from the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Suddenly, what he saw in books couldn’t compete with what he found on walls.

Decades later, Mr. Beltran — now known as SinXero — is a mixed-media artist, painting abstract works whose textures reflect the crumbling buildings of his childhood and whose colors draw upon the rich palette of aerosol art. “Picasso had Guernica, I had the Bronx,” Mr. Beltran, 46, said. “What happened in Guernica affected Picasso and he painted that. Why can’t the socioeconomic situation I grew up in — the economic collapse of the Bronx — be part of what surfaces in my painting?”

That realization has fueled not only his personal work but also his determination to convert drab walls on commercial strips and side streets into alfresco galleries. Over the last three years he has enlisted street artists from New York and beyond to brighten the urban landscape. Last week, the graffiti artist Chris Ellis, who is known as Daze, painted a wall on Westchester Avenue in the Bronx that was made famous by the artists Seen and Duster in the 1983 graffiti documentary “Style Wars.”

To Mr. Beltran, this urge to create is not so different from what he saw as a child, when young graffiti artists had few outlets apart from walls and subway trains. He didn’t go to museums growing up. And even though he attended the High School of Art and Design, his stay was short-lived because of frequent fights and the threat of the Decepticons, a fearsome gang that preyed on teenagers in the 1980s.

After some detours, he went on to college, studying literature and learning photography and graphic design. He had a roster of clients for his design work, as well as a full-time job as a medical office supervisor on Park Avenue in Manhattan. But after growing tired of “helping other people achieve their dreams,” he decided about two years ago to become a full-time artist after being laid off from an office job.

With the support of his wife, Myra, he turned the garage behind their Bronx home into a studio, where he paints canvases that are sold in two Manhattan galleries. He is serious and earnest about his artistic goals, especially when it comes to wanting to transform dreary spaces using large-scale murals made under the auspices of TAG Public Arts Project, a nonprofit he founded to encourage street art.

The murals he has sponsored adorn Westchester Avenue and feature artists like Damien Mitchell, Marthalicia Mattarita and Luis Zimad Lamboy, among others. The pieces can be colorful and playful, often combining different media. Several landlords along the strip have embraced the project, saying the murals not only liven up the stretch under the elevated train tracks but also deter vandals from scrawling their tags.

“They really are amazing,” said Robert Bieder, the owner of a plumbing supply business who has recommended Mr. Beltran to other landlords. “We’ve seen people from all over the world coming to admire this work. I had no idea there was such a great following for this kind of artwork.”

Mr. Beltran’s next goal is a second-story alcove above Mr. Bieder’s shop. The roof already features several pieces, including one by Mr. Beltran honoring Christopher Lee, a graffiti writer known as Shadow, who died in 2013 and was an early supporter of his work. The pieces occupy a prime spot: easily visible from the elevated trains that rumble past.

While his list of walls is growing, he is stumped why some landlords won’t entertain his ideas, yet continue to allow their walls to be covered with random tags that reappear almost as soon as they are painted over.

“How long have these businesses been making money in our community?” Mr. Beltran asked, pointing to one building along Bruckner Boulevard whose owner, he said, refuses to allow a mural. “Every day they make money off our community, and they’re not even maintaining their property. We are offering a free service and a couple of artists to make it look good.”

Mr. Beltran emphasizes that he is not a graffiti-removal service, even if his murals keep vandals at bay. If anything, he said, he understands the need that some young people feel to find a creative outlet if no other opportunity is offered. That is why he feels a sense of gratitude when he sees young people coming by to watch him and other artists paint their murals.

“You never know,” he said. “It’s like the same way I imagined myself to be an artist, how art was the one constant in my life. How do we not know that some kid looks at a mural being painted today and says he wants to be an artist and starts painting and drawing? He could be tomorrow’s next big thing. You never know when you are going to inspire someone.”



3. LuLu LoLo, FF Member, at Cornelia Street Café, Manhattan, May 14

Saturday, May 14, 2016 5:45-7:45pm
Readings: LuLu LoLo and Joe Giordano author of “Birds of Passage, An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story”
Italian American Writers Association
Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street off Bleecker
Cover: $9 includes complimentary drink



4. Joseph Nechvatal, FF Alumn, at Anthology Film Archives, Manhattan, May 16-22

I am showing my "1% Owns 50% of the World” (2014) animation continuously in the lobby of Anthology Film Archives from May 16-22

Joseph Nechvatal



5. Epstein & Hassan, FF Alumns, at The Alchemical Theater, Manhattan, May 7

Everybody deserves to cum and laugh in a relationship!
Join us for an evening of laughter!

The Black and The Buddhist Go Buddhist!
May 7th @ 7:30pm- $15
The Alchemical Theater 104 West 14th St. b/t 6 & 7th ave.



6. Brooke Singer, Nicole Eisenman, FF Alumns, at Art Projects International, Manhattan, May 12, and more

Dear friends,
I want to share with you a few past, present and future events of Spring 2016.

Near Future
Several of my photographs from Sites Unseen will be included in the exhibition PLACE, opening at Art Projects International in NY, NY on Thursday May 12 from 6-8pm. PLACE, curated by Erik Bakke, also includes work by artists Brandon Ballengée, Dino Dinco, Nicole Eisenman, Tracey Emin, David Huffman, Joan Linder and Gwenn Thomas. It would be wonderful to see you Thursday night and, if not, the exhibition runs through July 16.

Present (that means May 7, 2016)

I will be at NADA on Saturday participating in the panel "Models of Practice: New territories and frameworks for public art." The panel, organized by Freshkills Parks Manager for Public Programs Mariel Villere, convenes artists and organizers creating new platforms to present their programs and/or projects taking place in landscapes and gardens, waterways and global trade networks and government agencies. I will speak along with Maayan Strauss (founder of the Container Artist Residency) and Diya Vij (NYC Department of Cultural Affairs).

Past (and documented for you)

This spring I had the great pleasure of coordinating Interposed with my New Media Junior Seminar class at SUNY Purchase. It began with 22 students interviewing 10 contemporary artists working at the intersection of art, technology and social engagement. The participating artists were: Taeyoon Choi, Paolo Cirio, eteam, Deirdre Fishel, Dylan Gauthier, Lorna Mills, Joiri Minaya, Josh Tonsfeldt, Alex Villar and Caroline Woolard.

The students designed and produced Interposed (the exhibition), including works by all 10 artists at the new Purchase College Center for Community & Culture in Yonkers (or PC4Yonkers) that was on view from April 1 through April 13. And, that is not all: they have also designed Interposed (the catalogue) with excerpts from the interviews, exhibition and more. It is available for free digital download or for purchase as a hardcopy. Please take a look and consider sharing!

all my best,



7. R. Sikoryak, FF Alumn, at Dixon Place, Manhattan, May 11

Dixon Place presents
CAROUSEL in 2-D and 3-D!
Comics Performances and Picture Shows, Hosted by R. Sikoryak
Presentations of graphic novels, gag cartoons, live drawing, and several 3D slide shows (including contemporary photos and classic horror comics). Glasses provided.
Katie Fricas
Sara Lautman
Jason Little
Gerald Marks
Joe Pedoto
and more!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 7:30 pm
Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street (btwn Rivington & Delancey)
NYCTickets: $15 (advance), $18 (at the door), $12 (students/seniors/idNYC))
Advance tickets & info: http://dixonplace.org/performances/carousel-7-2/ (212) 219-0736
(The Dixon Place Lounge is open before, during, and after the show. All proceeds directly support DP’s mission and artists.)



8. Moya Devine, FF Alumn, at Gallery D, Barrio Logan, San Diego CA, opening May 14

Hello All. In San Diego next weekend? Please join me for the opening of Feminism Now where I will be showing some work.

"Feminism Now"
Visual Art Exhibition by the Feminist Image Group and Krogen Amerika
Gallery D, Barrio Logan
1878 Main St., Unit D, San Diego, CA 92113

May 14 through June 11, 2016
Opening Reception: May 14, 6-10pm, during the Barrio Art Crawl
Gallery Talk with the Artists: Sunday, May 29, 1-3pm
All events free and open to the public.


Thank you.

Moya Devine



9. Alison O’Daniel, FF Alumn, in The New York Times, April 29

The New York Times
Scenes From a Punk Rock and Storytelling Show, for Deaf People

At its best, punk rock relies on an admixture of velocity, attitude and volume — which is exactly what made last night’s Deaf Club event a smash success. The show, held at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth, Queens, a former door factory turned interdisciplinary arts space, was curated by the Los Angeles-based artist Alison O’Daniel who, herself, is hard of hearing. The event was a live extension of O’Daniel’s “The Tuba Thieves” (currently a part of her “Room Tone” exhibition) — a film that explores the events surrounding an unlikely series of tuba thefts in Los Angeles schools.

One portion, however, also recreates a performance in the Deaf Club, a now-defunct social club for San Francisco’s deaf community that hosted punk shows in 1979. As the story goes, Robert Hanrahan, the manager for the punk band the Offs, was walking by it, saw a sign reading “The Deaf Club” and thought it was a cool, unexpected name for a concert venue. After realizing his mistake, he asked if his band could play — a message he originally wrote on a napkin. “I’m not a punk historian,” said O’Daniel. “My interest comes more from the deaf community. It’s the meeting of two totally disenfranchised communities — it’s really beautiful.” Eventually, bands including Dead Kennedys and Pink Section would record albums at the venue, forever sanctifying it in punk lore. (A core irony of the story, and also fittingly punk, was that the shows eventually came to a halt because of noise complaints.)

But the goal of last night’s event wasn’t an attempt to dispel hearing people’s outmoded assumption that the deaf world doesn’t (or can’t) appreciate music — though that notion seemed ready to explode along with the tower of amps — but rather, to create an environment where people of all ages and backgrounds could revel in the power of punk and performance art. Among the performers, many of whom helped with the making of O’Daniel’s film, were three bands and four American Sign Language storytellers, each of whom approached the night with their own interpretation of the Deaf Club theme. Wall, a Brooklyn four-piece, brought No Wave clamor and cutting politics to the stage, while Future Punx arrived with fog machines and New Wave synths in tow. Also appearing was a band with a name unpublishable in this publication — which only serves to solidify its street cred. (The frontman, Paddy Mulloy, played an M.C. in O’Daniel’s film.)
Between the sets, performers told stories of identity — comedic anecdotes, personal hardships and the deaf world’s relationship with music. Maleni Chaitoo drew a through line between the alienation of punk in the ’70s and the underserved Deaf community, while Opal Gordon, who closed out the show, traced black history through the lens of music, using a combination of A.S.L. and interpretive dance to spin a tale that moved from the slave trade, to the her own story of embracing pop music as a deaf, African-American woman. “It’s not true that deaf people can’t enjoy music,” said Gordon. “Music is strong, they can feel the vibrations. Punk is perfect because it’s loud, it’s heavy, it’s in-your-face.”



10. Linda Montano, FF Alumn, now online at https://youtu.be/9v_PSTH59go

Money is Green Too - A Manifesto



11. Frank Moore, Martha Wilson, FF Alumns, now online at eroplay.com/letmebefrank/

Frank Moore, FF Alumn, now featured in a new web video series about his life and art, LET ME BE FRANK.

Let Me Be Frank is a video series based on the life and art of shaman, performance artist, writer, poet, painter, rock singer, director, TV show host, teacher and bon vivant, Frank Moore.

The series is partly a biography, but also a presentation of Frank's philosophy on life and on art. Twenty-plus episodes have been planned based on Frank’s book, Art Of A Shaman, which was originally delivered as a lecture at New York University in 1990 as part of the conference “New Pathways in Performance”. Each episode will feature readings by people who played an important part in Frank’s life, either as friends, lovers, students, artistic collaborators or supporters of his art.

Episode 1, "A Lucky Guy" features readings by Gerald Smith and Franklin Furnace's Martha Wilson.

Let Me Be Frank presents Frank's exploration of performance and art as being a magical way to effect change in the world ... performances as an art of melting action, of ritualistic shamanistic doings/playings. Using Frank’s career and life as a "baseline", it explores this dynamic playing within the context of reality shaping.

The series is available on Frank’s website at
http://eroplay.com/letmebefrank/ and on Vimeo at



12. Kriota Willberg, FF Alumn, spring events

Hello Everyone!

It’s been awhile since I sent an announcement of imminent events. Here’s what’s new…!

Guest presenter at TCAF (http://torontocomics.com)
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) has invited me to participate in their Word Balloon Academy Professional Clinic on Friday May 13th at the Bloor Yorkville Marriott (http://torontocomics.com/word-balloon-academy/). I will be available to answer questions about injury prevention and good drawing habits and will have copies of my mini comics (No) Pain! and First Aid for Drawing Injuries for sale. I will also present a self care workshop on back pain prevention on Saturday May 14th in the early afternoon, AND will be reading from some of my less educational comics for a Carousel Slide Show on Sunday the 15th late afternoon, details TBA May 11ish. TCAF is still working on their schedule. Can’t make it to Toronto but still want to buy a copy of one of my mini comics? Try here: http://www.birdcagebottombooks.com/?s=Kriota+Willberg

No Back Pain! Another Guide To Injury Prevention for Cartoonists
Yes, there is a third volume of injury prevention and self care in the works! No Back Pain! Another Guide to Injury Prevention for Cartoonists focuses on... you guessed it - back pain! This mini comic explains the anatomy behind three common causes of back pain: muscle spasm, muscle tear, and disk herniation. It also gives some guidelines for self care and injury prevention, and presents breathing and conditioning exercises for relaxing and strengthening the core muscles of the trunk. (As usual, if you use this book instead of medical advice you are out of your mind.) No Back Pain! is still in-progress but I will have excerpted draft copies for preview at TCAF.

Visualizing and Drawing Anatomy Workshop at the New York Academy of Medicine
I am very excited to announce that I am partnering with the New York Academy of Medicine to offer an anatomy for artists four week workshop on Monday evenings June 6, 13, 20, and 27. As per usual I will be drawing the musculoskeletal system onto live models, but the most exciting part is that each class starts with an exploration of body parts and other systems in the Academy’s Drs. Barry and Bobbi Coller Rare Book Reading Room! For more information you can visit the NYAM events page here: http://nyam.org/events/event/visualizing-and-drawing-anatomy/

Leaving the Bendheim Integrative Medicine Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering
Yup! After four years I am leaving Integrative Medicine at MSKCC. It’s been an ideal job and I have learned much about oncology, massage therapy, patient care, and life at large. I will miss my colleagues and patients. I’m taking the summer off to focus on creative work. In the fall I hope to be going back to school (more on that once my plans are settled) and will continue teaching anatomy in the Dance Department of Marymount Manhattan College (Yes! I’m back!)

Want to learn more about these and other projects? You can visit my blog at KriotaWelt.blogspot.com.

Have a great spring and summer!

Kriota Willberg



13. Anton Van Dalen, FF Alumn, at Romeo, Manhattan, opening May 15, and more

Dear family, friends, neighbors and arts community,

I am pleased to tell you that two galleries are simultaneously having one-person exhibits of my work.
Both are here in New York City and opening this very month, May 15 and 18.

That the exhibits are in my old Lower East Side neighborhood is in itself for me beyond amazing.
The location of these shows is so appropriate because it is here I found and learned my social and political urgency.

One gallery space is named Romeo located at 90 Ludlow Street, opening Sunday, May 15.

The Romeo space will focus on my street inspired drawings, raw works, mostly on paper.

The second gallery is Sargent’s Daughters located at 179 East Broadway, opening Wednesday, May 18.

Sargent’s Daughters will show a more intimate poetic representations, with mix of mediums.

Showing the two halves as separate worlds, public vs personal, reflects on conflicts of our modern life.

Both exhibitions came about in collaboration between the two galleries and Wendy Olsoff, co-owner of the PPOW Gallery.

From Anton, with appreciation of your attention.



14. Hector Canonge, FF Alumn, at Rabbithole, Brooklyn, May 13, and more

HECTOR CANONGE, FF Alumn, May 2016

Hector Canonge is back in New York City to continue with presentations, programs and exhibitions at various galleries and cultural art institutions. Canonge spent some time in Chicago as resident artist at Defibrillator Gallery where he presented new work, gave an artist talk and conducted workshops. Coinciding with Frieze New York and NADA Art Fairs, Canonge will be presenting work in the upcoming weeks: "ASSERTIONS" in Performance Anxiety at Gallery Sensei (May 5), the collaboration pieces with artist Veronica Peña: "DE LO AJENO (Of Others)" in EO Arts Performance Art Series at Rabbithole (May 13), and "DE LO LEJANO (Of The Distant)" at Panoply Performance Laboratory (May 20), "(RE)VISITING THE MASCULINE" (May 14), "ABRASIONS OF THE SOUL" in Trauma Saloon at PPL (May 26), and special presentation of his new installation and live performance "IN PROFUNDUS" as invited artist in the Jameco Exchange Exhibition program curated by the organization No Longer Empty (May 21 - July 17). The artist continues with the presentation of the independent initiatives: TALKaCTIVE: performance art conversation series, “Performance, Time, and Process,” hosted at Queens Museum (May 21) featuring artists from the program THREAD organized by Thomas Albrecht, and LiVEART.US (May 28) featuring live public performance interventions (May 28) in the program "Performance & Activism."

Dates, Times and Locations:

May 13, 2016, 7:00 PM
DE LO AJENO (Of Others)
Collaboration with Veronica Peña
EO Arts Performance Art Series, Rabbithole
33 Washington Street, Brooklyn, NY

- May 14, 2016, 8:00 PM
Ming's Space, 1717 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY

May 20, 2016, 7:00 PM
DE LO LEJANO (Of The Distant)
Collaboration with Veronica Peña
Performancy Forum, Panoply Performance Lab
104 Meserole Street, Brooklyn, NY

May 21, 2016, 12:00 PM
Jamaco Exchange Exhibition
No Longer Empty, 165 Street and Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, NY

May 21, 2016, 2 PM
TALKaCTIVE: Performance Art Conversation Series.
Queens Museum
NYC Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Flushing, NY

May 26, 2016, 7:00 PM
Trauma Saloon
Panoply Performance Lab, 104 Meserole Street, Brooklyn, NY

More information: www.hectorcanonge.net



15. Cathy Weis, Mimi Gross, FF Alumns, at WeisAcres, Manhattan, May 22

May 22, 2016 at 6:00pm. Cathy Weis Projects and Sundays on Broadway present a discussion with Mimi Gross and Douglas Dunn. Mimi Gross presents Evolving Collaborations, a collection of drawings, designs, costumes, and three-dimensional works developed over her nearly 40-year collaboration with choreographer Douglas Dunn. The presentation will be followed by a discussion. WeisAcres, 537 Broadway #3, New York, NY 10012, Free admission



16. Lucio Pozzi, FF Alumn, at Museo della Gran Guardia, Verona, Italy, May 28-June 25

Lucio Pozzi
Gli Anni della Pittura Analitica (The Analytic Painting Years)
una collettiva (a group show)
Museo della Gran Guardia, Verona
Palazzo Bottagisio, Villafranca (VR)
28 May - 25 June, 2016

Very young, around the late 50’s I reduced my painting to simple elementary forms. Then, I started to alternate between more complicated and simpler imagery, as I still do now. Having moved to New York, I learned to manage painting not only as a way to create forms with color but also as a concrete environmental fact. I grew an interest in respecting and using creatively all the parts of the art of painting, from the folding of canvas, to the paint application techniques, to the specificity of its interaction with a site. A picture no longer is a picture placed on a wall but a wall activated by painting.
Now some works from the 70’s are being exhibited in a show of ‘Analytic Painting’. My basic theme is the ineffable sensibility of pictorial touch as provoked by the surface layers, materials and paints used. Two diptychs, one from the Forma Group and one from the Level Group, are painted in thicker acrylic paint over canvas tinted with a color wash. In the former the brush strokes are all vertical over two panels of different depth and in the latter the panels of same depths are painted one with vertical and the other with horizontal strokes. Eight works on paper are inspired by some of the infinite options of adding, removing, marking, cutting or covering that painting offers.



17. Victoria Keddie and Scott Kiernan, FF Alumns, at wavefarm.org, May 21, and more

E.S.P. TV is happy about Spring. Some traveling, new episodes, and the newly launched UNIT 11 transmission residency on wheels has us very excited. So much so, that we'd like to share our news with you!
-xo Victoria and Scott, E.S.P. TV.

we have a Poet Transmit event radio cast with wavefarm happening on May 21. Here is the link: https://wavefarm.org/wgxc/schedule/7ex5yg

Feb-July : E.S.P. TV are operating the experimental video lab out of Pioneer Works as part of their Art and Science Residencies. The (lab) studio runs thru July 2016.

April -July : Newly launched residency, Unit 11 , has its first resident artist, Ed Bear (NYC). Bear is building a custom multi-channel radio based device to be a permanent instrument within the modified news van. This device, as well as other performances using the mobile studio on wheels will be performed live in conjunction with Clocktower Radio and Pioneer Works in July (details TBD). Contact us for more information about Unit 11 residency: vkeddie@gmail.com

June 4 : E.S.P. TV are participants of this years Queens International. Special Live Taping event, Becoming New Objects, includes performances by Logan Takahashi and Human Pitch Freeform Ensemble, with additional performances by Trouble, and Patrick Higgins. http://www.queensmuseum.org/events

July 8 : E.S.P. TV will host a live taping event as part of our televisual event and workshop session at SAW Media Art Centre in Ottowa Ontario, Canada. http://www.sawvideo.com/

Swiss Institute / Contemporary Art
You Don't Say Much Do You?, E.S.P. TV, 3 channel video installation and live televisual performance, Swiss Institute, NYC. February 26, 12-9PM
With Douglas Davis, Nick Hallett, Lary 7, Sara Ludy, Brock Monroe, Leyna Marika Papach, “Clouds and Crowds” directed by Alexander Waterman, Damon Zucconi.
More information and images here. https://www.swissinstitute.net/event/e-s-p-tv-you-dont-say-much-do-you/
Photography by Daniel Perez

"You Don't Say Much, Do You?" 2016
2 Channel Video by Victoria Keddie and Scott Kiernan
Watch video here: http://www.victoriakeddie.com/you-dont-say-much-do-you/
Exhibited at Live Taping Event Feb 26, 2016 at Swiss Institute, 18 Wooster st, NYC

Annual Village Fête
E.S.P. TV was part of this years Pioneer Works' 3rd Annual Village Fete Benefit , held on May 1 2016. Other participating artists included Cibo Matto, Esperanza Spalding, and Javelin. Some fun press and images here and here.



On Air
E.S.P. TV #95 and 96: Live from Elinor Bunin Monroe Theater
at The Film Society of Lincoln Center
With: diNMachine, Bruno Coviello, and Keith Sanborn!
This two-part series airs every Tuesday in May at 10PM on MNN ch.67 in Manhattan. Episodes can be screened online on our website at MailFilterGateway has detected a possible fraud attempt from "esptv.us2.list-manage.com" claiming to be www.esptv.com.

Watch E.S.P. TV #95: http://www.esptv.com/esp-tv-95/



18. Nicole Eisenman, FF Alumn, in the New York Times, May 6

The New York Times
A Conversation With Nicole Eisenman and Grace Dunham
MAY 6, 2016

For her first museum survey in New York, open May 4 at the New Museum, Nicole Eisenman has chosen what might seem like a dopey title. She went with “Al-ugh-ories,” presumably because she finds it difficult to utter the word allegory with a straight face. It is, after all, a literary term and perhaps a little grand, evoking the days when paintings came stocked with fluttering cherubs and an overlay of moral uplift.

Now 51, and a recent recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant,” Ms. Eisenman is one of the leading figurative painters of her generation. You might say her accomplishment has been to introduce the pictorial equivalent of an “ugh” — a note of grunting emotionalism and comic self-reproach — into contemporary art. She specializes in psychological dramas in which figures airlifted out of art history consort with lower life forms, namely, cartoon people with big heads and bulging, tennis-ball eyes. Unlike other artists, who swipe from high and low culture as if stripping a car of its most valuable parts, Ms. Eisenman wants the different elements in her paintings to hang together and tell a serious, sad-funny story.

Put another way, she’s Kafka with a paintbrush, mindful of the nightmares of history and partial to somber, social-realist colors (muddy browns and greens) that hark back to Depression-era art. It is perhaps relevant that her German-Jewish grandparents fled their homeland in 1937, refugees of the Holocaust. Ms. Eisenman’s awareness of the European past is matched by her attention to the politics of the American present. Tellingly, the Uncle Sam who pops up in her painting “Tea Party” (2012) is a shrunken figure with a hole in his red-striped pants, sipping on his tea as two right-wingers seated beside him assemble a bomb.

Ms. Eisenman’s most ambitious works consist of large-scale street scenes crowded with figures and intimations of her Expressionist forebears, especially James Ensor and Edvard Munch. In “Coping” (2008), weary villagers (and a lone mummy) trudge home from work, oblivious to an alarming deluge of brownish sludge that rises to their thighs and impedes their motion. It is hard to think of another painting that says so much about stagnation (whether economic or emotional) with so many humorous touches. A half-timbered Tudor building in the background could belong to either a medieval town square or the Tudor Revival shopping areas favored in affluent suburbs such as Scarsdale, N.Y., where the artist grew up.

These days, Ms. Eisenman is based in Brooklyn, and her studio occupies a nondescript space on the second floor of a brick-faced building in Boerum Hill. I recently stopped by to visit with her and Grace Dunham, who contributed an affectionate and well-written essay to the catalog for the New Museum show. The two women met last summer in a bar in New York and became instant friends, perhaps because they are both well acquainted with the bumps and stresses of the artistic life. “I understand artists’ egos all too well,” Ms. Dunham wryly notes. At 24, she is the younger daughter in a creatively fecund clan that includes her sister, Lena, and their artist-parents, Carroll Dunham and Laurie Simmons.

“I just moved to L.A.,” Ms. Dunham noted, referring to her career as an activist. “I’m working on a project with two close friends who are coders and have a web-development firm called Jodie. We’re building a crowdfunding platform to help queer and trans people raise money for prison-related costs — bail, bond, commissary.”

As the afternoon unfolded, the conversation shifted effortlessly from art and identity politics to the rewards of female friendship. These are edited excerpts.

Nicole, to what degree do you think your work reflects your life, your autobiography?

NICOLE EISENMAN Work comes out of life. Where else would your work come out of, if not your experience? Being a queer woman is the air that I breathe, and it’s inescapable, and it’s going to be part of the work. But I would like gender to just disappear from the face of the earth.

I am sure you’re familiar with the formalist argument that art comes out of art, and remains untouched by everyday life.

GRACE DUNHAM Who was at the forefront of formalism? C’mon.


EISENMAN All white men!

DUNHAM Do you know what they are? Deluded. People who are living under the delusion that their work is separate from their identity and experience are generally people who are benefiting from enormous amounts of structural privilege.

Surely some art is purely formal, like the abstract paintings of Ellsworth Kelly.

DUNHAM Hell no! I would never ever accept someone’s work as purely formal.

EISENMAN I’d rather look at Bruegel. Ellsworth Kelly? No. Robert Ryman? No. I have a problem with the fact that the world feels like it’s on fire and we’re all going to hell in a hand basket — and an artist can just paint white on white? It’s so divorced from reality. It’s too privileged.

You both come from very privileged backgrounds.

EISENMAN You have to acknowledge your own privilege. Otherwise you’re walking around with a blindfold on. I was just thinking about myself in relation to environmental issues. I have stopped accepting offers from people who want to fly you to Chicago to do a talk, or fly you to Arizona to do a talk for one night. It’s crazy.

Do you mean on a private plane?

EISENMAN No, on a regular plane. Any plane. We do this without thinking.

That’s ridiculous! The plane is going anyway. Your presence doesn’t increase carbon emissions and is likely to add to the amount of inspiration in the world.

EISENMAN I think there are great people in Arizona who could talk in Arizona. They don’t need to fly people in. Keep it local! Or Skype me in. Let’s all figure out ways to do things where we don’t have to use as many resources as we use.

You grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y., right?

EISENMAN God. Are you going to write that? Ugh.

Did you find high school alienating?

EISENMAN I remember walking down the halls of my high school actually in tears. Like, I can’t do this.

Which part of it?

EISENMAN I think it was my freshman year, just feeling like I had nowhere to fit in. But the thing about my high school, about most high schools, is that you find a place for yourself. It was somewhere between the art room and the parking lot, where kids smoked pot. And I played sports, which kept me social in a different way.

It doesn’t sound so oppressive.

EISENMAN It was horrible. I didn’t have sex when I was high school.

Does anybody?

EISENMAN They may not be going all the way, but they’re making out and going on dates. They’re exploring their sexuality with each other, and that I missed out on, and that was oppressive.

Were you aware that you were gay?

EISENMAN I definitely knew, and I didn’t have a soul in the world to share it with. (Laughs.) I had the pillow in my bedroom. So sad. The receiver of my tears.

Grace, what are you up to these days?

DUNHAM I’m gay. Did you figure that out? I just put out a book of poetry online, “The Fool.”

EISENMAN Grace has multiple girlfriends. Every gay person under the age of 25 is in love with her. It’s so hard being Grace.

DUNHAM Oh, shut up.

EISENMAN Just say Grace is my son. Just say he’s my adopted son. He showed up on my doorstep.

Nicole, do you refer to yourself as a she or a he?

EISENMAN I’m gender fluid, but I use the “she” pronoun. I’m a little old school. I believe in the radicality of stretching the definition of what “she” is.

DUNHAM I’m with her. I like it all. I think it’s all stretchy if you let it be.

EISENMAN Stretchy and lezzy.

Nicole, what’s your advice for younger artists?

EISENMAN Oh God. Be that kitten on the branch and hang in there, baby!



19. Claire Fergusson, FF Alumn, at Soho Photo Gallery, Manhattan, May 11, and more

Hello Friends!
Come and enjoy Art at these exciting events!

Wednesday, May 11, 6:00pm-8:00pm
the Soho Photo Gallery (15 White Street)
OpenWorks NYC completes its 2016 season

The 20th Annual TOAST kicks off with an opening reception at One Art Space!
Friday, May 13, 6:00pm-8:00pm
One Art Space (23 Warren Street)

Saturday, May 14, 1:00pm-6:00pm
Sunday, May 15, 1:00pm-6:00pm
Monday, May 16, 1:00pm-6:00pm
The Secret Gallery (111 Hudson Street)
Claire will be continuing The Living Painting 2016!

Explore TOAST at the Secret Gallery and over 75 other artist studios in TriBeCa!

We are hosting a special Artists in the Parks Exhibition at
The Gazebo at Washington Market Park (Saturday)
TriBeCa Park -Saturday & Sunday (A, C, E at Canal St.)

This year for TOAST we will have 90-minute guided walking tours with Tourist Guide Robin Garr, Sunday and Monday 12:30pm and 3pm ~ $20. Sign up for tours here now:

Catch the Legendary RT performing throughout TOAST! (Locations and times here: http://www.claireandjan.org/#!toast-2016---the-legendary-rt/c1yd2 )

See you there!



20. Harley J. Spiller, Gulsen Calik, Jim Costanzo, Peggy Diggs, Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful, David Greg Harth, Marty Heitner, Norm Magnusson, Paul McMahon, Por El Ojo (Julia Balmaceda, Federico Gonzalez, Daniel Sanjurjo, Ignacio Sourrouille) Iris Rose, Dread Scott, Jonathan Stangroom, Rumiko Tsuda, Adrianne Wortzel, FF Alumns, at Columbia University, Manhattan, May 13

From Manet’s single asparagus painted for a 200-franc overpayment to Duchamp’s Teeth's Loan & Trust check drawn for his dentist, the potential equivalence of art and money has been postulated as both generative and problematic. This one-day symposium considers intersections of the artistic and monetary worlds, examining the mutual concern for consumption, valuation, circulation, materiality, authenticity, and imitation that emerged from both artistic and economic spheres. In what ways are aesthetic and monetary values related? How have economic and artistic circulations mirrored one another historically? How have artists given pictorial form to speculation, credits, and other abstract forms of monetary exchange? Conversely, how have aesthetic concerns or artistic projects informed or driven economic thinking? How have the aesthetic concerns of finance evolved with shifts from metallic to paper to electronic currencies? In what ways has the material culture of money intersected or overlapped with artistic practice?

Part of the international conference series Economic Thought and the Work of Art:

Organized by: Maggie Cao, Society of Fellows in the Humanities; Alex J. Taylor, Tate; and Sophie Cras, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

London: Tate, January 22, 2016 – Invisible Hands: Markets and the Making of American Art
New York: Columbia University, May 13, 2016 ¬– Art and the Monetary
Paris: Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2016-17 – TBD

Special Events
Art and the Monetary
Friday, May 13, 2016 10:00am
Columbia University
The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

Introductory Remarks, Maggie Cao
10:15am 11:30am

Session 1: Paper
Kevin Lotery
Lecturer and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Art History and Archaeology
Columbia University

Counterfeit Presentments: Money and Photographic Media
Mazie Harris
Assistant Curator of the Department of Photographs
Getty Museum

Delacroix and the Currency of Classicism
Emerson Bowyer
Assistant Curator of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Metropolitan Museum of Art


11:45am 1:30pm
Session 2: Metal
Benjamin Breen
Lecturer in History
Columbia University

Making Money: Coins by Sculptors in 1962
Alex J. Taylor
Terra Foundation Research Fellow in American Art

Liquidation and the Artist in the Age of Metallic Currency
Allison Stielau
Postdoctoral Fellow, Early Modern Conversions Project
McGill University

Learning from Art, Learning from Money: Between Meaning and Materiality
Jennifer Marshall
Associate Professor of North American Art
University of Minnesota

1:30pm 2:45pm
Lunch Break
On view: "Artist Altered Money and Curious Currency," from the collection of Harley J. Spiller | First floor Board Room, Heyman Center. Includes original money art by Gulsen Calik, Jim Costanzo, Peggy Diggs, Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful, David Greg Harth, Marty Heitner, Norm Magnusson, Paul McMahon, Por El Ojo (Julia Balmaceda, Federico Gonzalez, Daniel Sanjurjo, Ignacio Sourrouille) Iris Rose, Dread Scott, Jonathan Stangroom, Rumiko Tsuda, Adrianne Wortzel and many other artists.

2:45pm 4:00pm
Session 3: Circulation
William Deringer (‘12-‘15)
Assistant Professor in the Science, Technology and Society Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Love, Trust, Risk: Epistolary Pictures, Then and Now
Nina Dubin
Associate Professor of Art History
University of Illinois at Chicago

Horror Rigor: On the Fear of Spectacle of Frozen Capital
José Luis Falconi
Fellow, Department of History of Art and Architecture
Harvard University


4:15pm 5:30pm
Session 4: Speculation
Maggie Cao
Lecturer in Art History
Columbia University

Filiation and Affiliation: Impressionism, LLC
André Dombrowski
Associate Professor of the History of Art
University of Pennslyvania

The Weight of Financial Transactions: Transplanting the New York Stock Exchange
Sophie Cras
Maître de Conférences (Assistant Professor)
Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne



Goings On is compiled weekly by Harley Spiller